NFSP pushes for fertilizer price cap

Considering the unabated increases in fertilizer prices, the National Federation of Sugarcane Planters (NFSP) called on the Department of Agriculture to request the Department of Trade and Industry to impose a price cap on fertilizer prices.

“Fertilizer prices have been rising fast, which would lead to high cost of production, and in turn, will result to high prices for our consumers,” said NFSP President Enrique D. Rojas in his letter sent Monday, October 25, to Agriculture Secretary William Dar.

Sugar Regulatory Administrator Hermenegildo Serafica was also furnished a copy of the said letter.

The price of Urea, the most widely-used fertilizer in farming, ranged from P800 to P900 per 50-kilo bag in 2020, he said.

The cost of Urea doubled to about P1,600 per bag in July and now, it has skyrocketed to more than P2,000 per bag, Rojas pointed put.

Potash prices increased from P900 per bag in April to more than P1,600 per bag lately, while the price of 18-46-0 also jumped from P1,100 per bag in April to a whooping P2,200 per bag presently, he said.

All kinds of fertilizers have also doubled in prices, compared to last year’s price levels, he added.

Rojas strongly recommends to Dar to convince DTI to impose a “suggested retail price” for all kinds of fertilizer.

“The bulk of the proceeds from our sugar sales is eaten up by the high cost of inputs, particularly fertilizer and fuel. We appeal to the government to institute measures to curb the unconscionable increases in fertilizer and fuel prices,” Rojas added.

He pointed out that agriculture, particularly the sugar industry, has kept the Negros economy afloat at the height of the pandemic.

“The sugar industry, in particular, and agriculture in general, has proven to be an effective partner of government in sustaining our economy amid this pandemic. Government should help us tame the high prices of fertilizer and fuel, so that we can fully perform our role as catalyst for the economic recovery of our country,” Rojas said.

He emphasized that government intervention in controlling the increases in fertilizer and fuel prices will be highly appreciated by the hundreds of thousands of small sugarcane farmers and the five million Filipinos who depend on the sugar industry for their livelihood.*

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